Set For The Senate: Tim Lombard
Writes Jack White
Tracton’s Tim Lombard and his family are celebrating following his election to Seanad Éireann on Tuesday, April 26th.
Within an hour of him being deemed elected, Tim signed the register as a member of the Senate, and vacated the Cork County Council seat, which he has held for thirteen years.
Elected on the Agricultural Panel, Tim battled his way to a seat despite three elected senators and two former TD’s being amongst his opposition. During what was a national election campaign for the former County Councillor, Tim says he canvassed over 300 Fine Gael representatives as well as Independent representatives to seek their support. “From inner city Dublin, to the west coast of Ireland, from Kenmare to Louth, it was a fascinating experience”, says Tim. “The range of issues you see all over the country is extraordinary”, he says, “the only two counties I didn’t have time to visit were Mayo and Donegal”.
On election day itself, Tim acquired 35 first preference votes, with a quota of 93, and though he was some way off in first preference votes, he was very transfer friendly as the counts went on. “Ultimately”, he says, “it was the ability to chip away with transfers that got me elected. When Fianna Fail’s Frank O’Flynn got eliminated I benefitted hugely from his transfers, it just goes to show that sometimes you can get votes despite party politics. I think all through my political career I’ve been able to unite people from different political backgrounds, even when I was elected Cork County Mayor in 2011 I received cross-party support so it’s something I’m thankful for”.
Having been elected a senator, Tim was legally obliged to vacate his Cork County Council seat under legislation passed in the Dual Mandate Bill. To fill this empty seat in the Bandon-Kinsale Electoral Area, Fine Gael will host a convention where the membership of the party in the electoral area will vote to select his replacement. Members of the party can seek nomination to be elected from the convention.
Tim says he’s expecting his first day in Seanad Eireann to happen shortly. “The first sitting will be a big day for my family and I. I believe the last senator from this immediate area was Barry Cogan in the early 1980’s. I must thank and acknowledge the Munster Agricultural Society for nominating me and it was great to see their other nominated candidate, Denis O’Donovan, elected also”.
Given his election as an Agricultural Panel candidate, Tim says he is looking forward to bringing practical experience to debates on issues pertaining to farming. “As farmer myself, I’m passionate about Irish agriculture and issues affecting farmers. I know the industry, I feel my practical knowledge and experience will help me to make a difference and make an impact on national policy relating to agriculture”. Tim also notes that election to the Seanad will allow him more resources to help better serve his constituents.
Overall, despite it still not quite feeling real, Tim says he’s relishing the new challenge ahead. “The last few days have been surreal, on Monday I was sitting in a council meeting in Cork, on Tuesday I was elected a Senator and on Wednesday I was sitting in my first ever Parlimentary Party meeting listening to the Taoiseach briefing us on how negotiations were progressing for the formation of a Government. I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead and to working hard in a new capacity”.
Tim thanks everyone who’s supported him to date, both locally and nationally.